The 10 best tweaks to the Windows registry

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Martí Micolau
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To have the modification fully operational you need to reboot the system. To disable the function, on the other hand, simply change the value of the "Value on" from 1 the 0.


2. Add Apps to the Desktop drop-down menu

Some applications, such as the video card control panel, often add shortcuts for access in the drop-down menu of the Desktop, the one that opens with a click of the right mouse button. These shortcuts can be safely removed acting on the Register. Obviously, the reverse operation can also be performed, that is to add further applications always on the panel. In case we want to remove a shortcut, we will have to:

  1. Access the registry by typing "regedit”In the search bar.

  2. Once you open the log on the navigation bar enter the following code

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshell if you want to remove shortcuts in folder menus HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshellexContextMenuHandlers

    if you want remove the shortcuts in the desktop menu.


  3. If you want add shortcuts, always in the register enter the code HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryBackgroundshell and to add a new entry, create a new key by right button, renaming it with the name of the application you want to add.
  4. At this point we have to create the so-called "command key“, Required for the application to work. To do this, click with the right click on the newly created key and create one locked up, which we will rename "command". In order for it to be fully functional, however, it will be necessary copy in full inside the string path application.
  5. Once this step has been completed and the PC has restarted, the desired application will be present in the drop-down menu of the desktop.

3. Show the seconds in the Taskbar clock

This change allows the taskbar clock to show seconds, ensuring good accuracy due to Windows 10's ability to synchronize date and time via your network servers. It is a completely new option, not natively executable for example on Windows 7 or old Microsoft systems. In order to display the seconds it is necessary:


  1.  Access the registry by typing "regedit”In the search bar.

  2. Once you open the log on the navigation bar enter the following code

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced

  3. Right click on the folder "Advanced“, Then choose in order New > Valore DWORD 32-bit and rename the item "ShowSecondsInSystemClock ”And press sending.

  4. Now we access the property of the newly created item by double click. Change the value in the "Value on" from 0 to 1 and then confirm everything by clicking on OKAY.

To have the modification fully operational you need to reboot the system. To disable the function, on the other hand, simply change the value of the "Value on" from 1 the 0.


4. Remove the “3D Objects” folder from the Explorer

The Windows File Explorer shows folders that we will never use, such as the "3D objects“, Which can be removed thanks to a change in the registry. To do it:

  1. Access the registry by typing "regedit”In the search bar.

  2. Once you open the log on the navigation bar enter the following code

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMyComputerNameSpace

  3. On the left find the subfolder which has the following code as its name

    {0DB7E03F-FC29-4DC6-9020-FF41B59E513A}


    Present in the folder "NameSpace". By right click delete the folder.

  4. If you have installed a version of Windows 10 to 32-bit, you will not need to take any further action.
  5. In the case of version a 64-bit instead you will have to delete another folder with the same denomination, which this time is found in the path

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMyComputerNameSpace

    The procedure to be performed it's always the same and it turns out useful in case you want to delete any other folders. If you want to restore the existence of the folder, it will be enough create the subfolder renamed with the previous code.

5. Disable the OneDrive folder from Windows Explorer

Windows 10 natively supports OneDrive and integrates it seamlessly into the system, but often many users have complained about the implementation and management of OneDrive folders in Windows Explorer. To permanently remove the folder there are two distinct procedures which vary according to the version of Windows.

If you have on board your device Windows 10 Home version, it will be enough uninstall "Microsoft OneDrive". To do this, you will need to open the control panel > Programs > Uninstall a program, scroll through the list until you find Microsoft OneDrive, select and click uninstall from the top bar.


There is however another method that takes advantage of changes in the registry. To do it:

  1. Access the registry by typing "regedit”In the search bar.

  2. Once you open the log on the navigation bar enter the following code

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}

  3. Double click on the item "System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree”And set Value data to 0.

    For 64-bit versions you will need to change another value, typing in the search bar

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTWow6432NodeCLSID{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}

    And later do the same operation.

If you use instead Windows 10 in Professional, Enterprise or Education version, the easiest way to disable the folder is to use the Local Group Policy Editor, even if it is important in the case of computers belonging to a corporate network consult your network administrator first. In Windows 10 Professional o Enterprise:

  1. Open the start menu and type "gpedit.msc”And then press sending

  2. Once you open the editor you will find yourself in front of this screen. To carry out the operation click on "Computer Configuration".

  3. A list with folders will now appear. We click on Administrative Models > Windows Components.

  4. We scroll until we find the folder OneDrive and we always open it with a double click.

  5. We select "prevent use of OneDrive for file storage”And double clicking opens a window. We select the item "Activated”By ticking at the top left.

    As in the previous cases to actually see the changes enabled, you will need to reboot the system.

6. Disable the lock screen

The Windows 10 lock screen is convenient and organized for devices such as the tablet, while on desktops and laptops it can often be uncomfortable, as it somewhat slows down the startup of the PC. This screen can be disabled by editing the registry in the following way:

  1. Access the registry by typing "regedit”In the search bar.

  2. Once you open the log on the navigation bar enter the following code

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsPersonalization

    In case the key is not present in the list it will be enough to create a new one. To do this you will have to click with the right click on the Windows folder e create a new key, renaming it "Personalization", Always through the same path.

  3. At this point create a new 32-bit DWORD value using the right button, renaming it "NoLockScreen".

  4. Open the menu for the value you just created by double click and set the item "Value on" on 1.

To have the modifications working you will need restart your PC.

7. Remove the Bing search from the start menu

The default Windows search engine has always been Bing, which is also integrated with Windows 10 in the search bar. However, many users use the latter to search for files and programs within the PC, which is why it can sometimes be annoying and confusing to find Bing search results. The only way to disable Bing is through a registry change. To do it:

  1. Access the registry by typing "regedit”In the search bar.

  2. Once you open the log on the navigation bar enter the following code

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsExplorer

  3. At this point create a new 32-bit DWORD value using the right button, renaming it "DisableSearchBoxSuggestions".

  4. Open the menu for the value you just created by double click and set the item "Value on" on 1.

To have the modifications working you will need restart your PC.

8. Disable Cortana

Windows 10 at its launch had among its strengths the integration into the system of a voice assistant called Cortana, on paper very similar to the most famous Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The assistant can be disabled only via the registry. To do it:

  1. Access the registry by typing "regedit”In the search bar.

  2. Once you open the log on the navigation bar enter the following code

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREpoliciesMicrosoftWindows

  3. click with the right click on the "Microsoft" folder and create a new key, renaming it "WindowsSearch". If the key is already in the list, skip this step.

  4. At this point create a new 32-bit DWORD value using the right button, renaming it "AllowCortana".

  5. Open the menu for the value you just created by double click and set the item "Value on" on 0.

9. Disable the "Shake to Minimize" function

Did you know that waving a window on Windows 10, will come minimize all other windows active? This is one of the hidden features of the Microsoft home system. However, not all people are aware of this feature and it can often happen that, by moving a window in a completely random way, the others are reduced. If you want to disable this feature:

  1. Access the registry by typing "regedit”In the search bar.

  2. Once you open the log on the navigation bar enter the following code

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced

  3. Create a new 32-bit DWORD value using the right button, renaming it "DisallowShaking".

  4. Open the menu for the value you just created by double click and set the item "Value on" on 1.

10. Use the old Windows Photo Viewer instead of the Photos app

The Photos app, natively implemented in Windows 10 with the purpose of centralize several functionalities in a single app, has never lived up to expectations. Between slowdowns and bugs there are not few complaints from online users, especially those with not very performing computers. Is there a way to enable the viewing photos using the old tool used on Windows 7, obviously through a modification to the registry. To make the old photo viewer default:

  1. We will have to add Manually some parts of the registry that were present on Windows 7 and 8.1, which you can download from this link. Once you have downloaded and unpacked everything, open the file "Activate Windows Photo Viewer on Windows 10" for create the keys needed in the registry.

  2. At this point set the app as the default for images. Let's open the image menu by right button and look for the voice "Open with". In the other drop down, click on "Choose another app”And that's it.
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